After announcing his resignation yesterday because he didn't want to "run the country with an iron fist" former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed says he was forced to make that decision at gunpoint. Police officers reportedly joined with anti-government protesters marching on the capital on Tuesday, when Nasheed said that he was stepping down avoid a violent conflict with his people. He's since changed his tune, claiming it was really a coup orchestrated with the support his vice-president turned successor Waheed Hassan,
"Yes, I was forced to resign at gunpoint," Nasheed told reporters after his party meeting a day after his resignation. "There were guns all around me and they told me they wouldn't hesitate to use them if I didn't resign.
Hassan has placed his old boss under house arrest, claiming that the security forces are there for his protection, but it sounds like the only threat is the soldiers surrounding his home. Nasheed's ex-foreign minister says Islamists orchestrated the takeover of the island nation, while ex-president — the first to be democratically elected in over 30 years — hints he may try to return to power in the next round of elections.
Al-Jazeera is now reporting that supporters of the former president have taken to the streets and are being met with tear gas and beatings, as the crowd responds with rocks. Reporter Steve Chao is reporting on the chaotic scene in the capital city, Male. We'll have more updates if and when we get them.
Image via Steve Chao: